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From Ears to Tongues: 36th Annual JPR Wine Tasting

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Jefferson Public Radio usually delivers auditory delights to listeners, from “American Routes” to “World Cafe.” On February 9th, JPR will offer gustatory sensations instead at its 36th Annual Wine Tasting at the Ashland Springs Hotel. Nearly 40 Oregon wineries will pour everything from Cabernets to Tempranillos accompanied by delectable treats from a dozen Rogue Valley restaurants.

“Everyone puts their best foot forward,” glows JPR Staffer Abby Kraft, organizer of the fundraiser/celebration combo. Guests, who come from JPR’s entire broadcast region, will find long-time participants like Girardet Wine in Roseburg and Weisinger Family Winery in Ashland or newer wineries like Simple Machine in Medford. “The wineries like to get in front of a crowd who appreciate what they’re doing,” explains Kraft.

Many of the wineries will also contribute bottles or cases to the event’s Silent Auction. Guests who love a previously unfamiliar wine or two or three and begin feeling generous can bid on items from their new favorite winery. The winemakers themselves enjoy the chance to clink glasses with colleagues or to pair up with a new restaurant. “It’s mutually beneficial,” says winemaker Eric Weisinger. “We support JPR, and they are supporting the local wine industry.” As Rocky Knoll Vineyard’s Emily Mostue adds, the wineries want to help JPR “really because they’re such a core part of the community.”

JPR does not neglect its supporters’ listening pleasure. Danielle Kelly, a music host at the station, will perform with her DK Jazz Project in the Grand Ballroom, and Flamenco/Classical guitarists Grant Ruiz and Dan Fellman will play in the elegant Crystal Room.

The Wine Tasting fills every public space at the Ashland Springs Hotel, from the gracious lobby to the Conservatory. Participants who perhaps taste more than safe driving permits can wake up to Morning Edition in the Ashland landmark at reduced rates. It is not clear if event sponsors, the Ashland Food Co-op and Gastroenterology Consultants (of Medford), will offer discounts on restorative green juices and/or consultations regarding the state of one’s liver on Friday, February 10.


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